International Business Machines

(

IBM

) pushed the Technology sector higher today making it today's featured technology winner. The sector as a whole closed the day up 2.4%. By the end of trading, International Business Machines rose $2.44 (1.3%) to $196.39 on average volume. Throughout the day, 4.2 million shares of International Business Machines exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 4.1 million shares. The stock ranged in a price between $193.95-$197.41 after having opened the day at $194.82 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $193.95. Other companies within the Technology sector that increased today were:

AuthenTec

(

AUTH

), up 66.1%,

MERU Networks

(

MERU

), up 56.8%,

OCZ Technology Group

(

OCZ

), up 30.1%, and

Blucora

(

BCOR

), up 27.7%.

  • ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out TheStreet's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now!

International Business Machines Corporation provides information technology (IT) products and services worldwide. The company operates in five segments: Global Technology Services, Global Business Services, Software, Systems and Technology, and Global Financing. International Business Machines has a market cap of $220.41 billion and is part of the

computer hardware

industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.3, above the average computer hardware industry P/E ratio of 13.9 and below the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 5.5% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday. Currently there are 10 analysts that rate International Business Machines a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 13 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates International Business Machines as a

buy

. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally poor debt management on most measures that we evaluated.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the technology sector could consider

Technology Select Sector SPDR

(

XLK

) while those bearish on the technology sector could consider

ProShares Ultra Short Technology

(

REW

).

null